What to Expect and How to Prepare For Your Session
The portrait process takes place in three parts. The Pre-Session Questionnaire, which you will complete prior to the session, the Photo Session, and the Preview & Ordering appointment, which is done in the studio.
You will fill out a questionnaire that will help me learn more about your dog and what makes them special and also helps me customize the session to meet your needs; what you would like to achieve, how you would like to display your images, what products you are interested in, colors, design, backdrops, props, etc. Followup questions will help fine tune your session to assist us in providing a fun and exciting portrait experience with beautiful images. This helps coordinate how we shoot the session with the desired final outcome in mind.
Shoots can sometimes be stressful for dogs, so we want to take the time to let your dog relax and get to know the space. We spend the first 10 minutes or so just letting your dog become accustomed to the environment, the equipment, and me. We work with controlled studio lighting as well as simple props and a variety of backdrops. Our focus is on your dog having a wonderful and relaxing portrait experience, so we bring out their true personality and dynamic. We take frequent little breaks to make sure you and your dog do not get tired or stressed.
There are certain restrictions for studio sessions, including no outside food or treats (healthy homemade treats are provided), no children, and no dogs that are currently or recently on a raw meat diet. Outdoor sessions do not have these restrictions.
VIEWING AND ORDERING APPOINTMENT
Viewing appointments will be scheduled approximately 1 to 2 weeks after the session. This is the time when you see all your final images and make decisions on your portrait order. The ordering appointment takes place at the studio, where you will be able to check out a variety of samples of the many products available and see your images projected from a calibrated monitor onto a projection screen. We’ll help you sort through the images and make final decisions on what will look best with your decor and what fits your lifestyle. Specializing in custom Eco-products, we take the guesswork out of choosing ethically and environmentally friendly products. I carefully selected the perfect product line that balances Eco-minded art with exceptional archival quality. To learn more about our product line, check out Products page under “Info” in the menu above. We will work with you to choose your custom artwork, so you won’t be overwhelmed with options. It’s a good idea to consider your budget before the viewing appointment, so that we can help you make the most of it and choose products right for you.
PREPARING FOR YOUR SESSION
- For the weeks approaching your session, work with your dog on sit/stay commands. Use positive reinforcement and practice daily in short intervals (10-15 minutes). This is VERY important. To get the best results, your dog needs to have a few basic commands mastered.
- Plan to exercise your dog BEFORE the session. Just enough exercise to alleviate any over-excitement, but not so much that they are worn out for the session. Do this a few hours before the session to avoid excessive panting and drooling.
- Don’t feed your dog a full meal before a shoot; otherwise they will be less alert and most likely in the mood for a nap.
- DO NOT BRING OUTSIDE FOOD OR TREATS TO THE STUDIO (unless otherwise discussed and agreed upon). I provide a variety of homemade healthy treats as part of your portrait experience. Please let me know if your dog has any allergies or diet restrictions.
- Your dog should be bathed two days before and brushed out the day before. You know how your dog will look his or her best, but if you do choose to have your dog trimmed, we recommend you have that done a week before the sitting rather than on the same day in case the cut is too short, or not exactly what you expected. This allows a little time to grow out. A grooming and portrait session on the same day can also be a lot of stress for many dogs.
- Please be sure to trim your dog’s nails to avoid any scratches or damage to furniture, props, or flooring.
- Feel free to bring a toy or two that your dog loves! Bring any other items you want your dog photographed with; special collar, toy, blanket, etc.
- If your dog is wearing clothing or other accessories for the session, make sure to try it on prior to the session to be sure it fits and is comfortable. I do not recommend dressing dogs up unless they are used to wearing clothes regularly and enjoy it!
- Your tone of voice and body language translate very effectively to your dog and their mood. Use compassionate authority. Never discipline or yell at your dog during a session, this will only increase their anxiety. With soothing talk, positive reinforcement and patient repetition, your dog will eventually figure out what you want them to do.
- We understand that some dogs have special needs; anxiety, fear of new things, nervousness/timidity, etc. Please make us aware of any issues your dog may have so that we can be sensitive to those concerns.
- PLEASE NOTE: Some dogs can be sensitive to the studio lights. Most dogs get used to it very quickly, but some just won’t tolerate it. Test your dog’s sensitivities using a camera flash (phone works) to get a sense as to whether it may be an issue. In some cases, the dog just will not tolerate the studio and/or lights. In these cases, I recommend rescheduling to an outdoor session.
We want you and your dog to enjoy the experience and get wonderful pieces of art for your home! Please contact me with any other questions you may have.
READY TO BOOK YOUR SESSION?
To reserve your date, click here or go to the contact button above – Limited number of session booked per week. Photo sessions are scheduled Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, so plan in advance. Session fee is due at the time of booking and is non-refundable. We also require a signed contract and model release before your session (you will receive these electronically once you are scheduled). In the event of extreme weather conditions or illness, we are happy to reschedule your session, but we ask that you give us at least 48 hours notice. All other cancellations or rescheduled dates require two weeks notice. No-shows or last-minute cancellations are subject to a $100 rescheduling fee.
We accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards securely through Paypal. All Prices subject to change without notice. All prices subject to State Sales Tax.